Southern Comfort Series: Seaside Okra

Updated: Jul 9, 2018

It's a common refrain among people who dislike okra is a complaint about the "slimy" texture. This substance is called mucilage, and is also found in the aloe vera plant. Mucilage is prided in dishes like gumbo for it's ability to thicken stews; it is also packed with soluble fiber. 

There are, however, a variety of ways to prepare okra without producing the characteristic slime. The secret is handling them as little as possible, and cooking them using a dry-heat method such as sautéing or deep frying. 

This recipe for "Seaside Okra" was developed when @BlackBrokeVegan took a trip down to Charleston, SC, to visit Chef Curt Mariah @CurtMCooks. Kelp powder and celery seed in the marinade gives the okra a hint of 'seafood' flavor, making it a perfect topping for a vegan version on the southern classic "Shrimp and Grits." 

Very gently rinse the pods, pat dry well, then cut lengthwise. Toss in the marinade, rather than stirring to keep the slime to a minimum, then sear in a hot pan!

Cook Time: 15 Mins

Cost: under $10

Servings: 2 servings


6 oz pieces of okra $2.50

2 TSP tamari sauce or soy sauce <$1/AP

2 tsp black pepper <$1/AP

1 tsp ground ginger <$1/AP

1.5 tsp Garlic powder <$1/AP

¾ tsp tabasco sauce <$1/AP

2 tsp paprika <$1/AP

2 tsp ground kombu (about one sheet) $0.50 per $6 package

½ tsp of ground celery seed <$1/AP

4 tsp olive oil <$1/AP


  1. Slice okra in half, lengthwise, and cut off the tops.

  2. Mix all ingredients together (only 3 TSP of olive oil and not the okra) in a container.

  3. Place okra inside the container and mix together to make sure the okra is coated evenly.

  4. Marinate the okra for at least 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  5. In a pan, heat 1 TSP of oil and place okra face down (cut side down) in the pan. Cook until okra is a dark brown color (about 1 minute). 

  6. Turn okra and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minute. Make sure that the okra does not burn.

  7. Remove from heat and serve while hot

  8. Serve with your favorite side, traditionally rice or grits. Enjoy!

*Prices are estimates, they will vary per location. 

AP= Already in pantry. These options are typically already in your pantry